An alleged cash courier arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the Mahadev betting app case has submitted before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court that he had been framed and he never delivered cash to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, reported PTI.
The agency had arrested Aseem Das and a constable named Bhim Singh Yadav on November 3, four days before the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections. The authorities had seized Rs 5.39 crores in cash from Das’s car.
Following this, the Enforcement Directorate alleged that Baghel was paid Rs 508 crore by the cash courier sent from the United Arab Emirates by the promoters of the Mahadev app, Ravi Uppal and Sourabh Chandrakar.
According to the agency, Das said in his statement that he came to Chhattisgarh capital of Raipur to deliver the money to “political executives” of the “Indian Congress party” on the instructions of Shubham Soni, one of the key accused in the Mahadev app case, reported The Indian Express.
However, while in judicial custody, Das wrote a letter to the director of the Enforcement Directorate and sent copies to several authorities, including the prime minister’s office and the court, on November 17.
Das wrote that he was being implicated in the case and the central agency forced him to sign a statement in English, a language he does not understand. He also said that the money seized from the car was meant for starting a construction business. He admitted that he visited Dubai twice in October and the trips were arranged by Soni, a childhood friend.
“Soni said we will do construction business,” Das said. “He said he has relocated to Europe and will take me with him. On that day I was asked to go to Raipur airport to pick up a car from the parking lot and take it to a hotel on VIP road and was further asked to check into a room. I was also given an iPhone. I was then asked to park the car at a location where a person came on a bike and put the cash in the car and left.”
He said he was asked to go back to his hotel room afterwards and soon, Enforcement Directorate officials came and took him with them. “I have never supplied any money to any politician,” he wrote.
Das and Yadav were produced before special judge Ajay Singh Rajput on Friday upon expiry of their judicial remand. The court extended their judicial custody for seven days, Das’s lawyer Shoaib Alvi told PTI.
Alvi urged the court to admit the letter as part of the case record. “My client just wanted to put forth his side of the story,” he said.